What Happened Next
Retha and I have often been asked “What happened next”? Even many of our friends ask why we didn’t include the rest of the story on our website. My response has always been to them that I thought it was more effective when our guest heard it from us sitting at our breakfast table, but I have decided to share this with others who want to know, but are unable to stay with us. So if you want to hear the story at our table, stop reading and come join us for breakfast.
Now back to the story.
It was at this point, traveling down the road on the way to the courthouse, that Retha prayed a silent prayer. “Lord, I guess the battle is over, I have done all I know to do. I guess this is it.”
What happened next, at least to us, was quite extraordinary and a little hard to believe, but I assure you, I am not stretching the truth. It caught us so off guard that it caused us to look at each other and laugh for the first time, together, in over a year.
We were in Retha’s car. She had the radio set to a Contemporary Christian music station. On that station they of course played music, but they also aired short segments by different Christian teachers, one of which was Dr. James Dobson’s “Focus on the Family Minute”.
When she, Retha, reach out and turn on the radio, at that moment in time the station happened to be airing a segment of the “Focus on the Family Minute.” Retha just so happened to turn it on, not at the beginning, but after the segment had started, at the precise moment in time, when the very first words we heard were that of Dr. James Dobson saying “Let me tell you, if you are on your way to seek how to get a divorce, let me tell you, there is no good reason to get a divorce!” What he said after that, we have no idea. It didn’t matter what he said after that, that was all we needed to hear.
I proceeded to pull over to the side of the road and turned off the car. I looked at Retha and told her “It’s not that I don’t want to be married to you, it’s that I don’t want to be married in the way that we have been married”. So I started the car and made a U-turn to change the direction in which we were going, literally and figuratively.
I am not going to tell you that it was all easy after that, it was only the beginning of the transformation in both of us, our marriage, and the rest of our lives.
One of the chapters in the Bible that meant so much to me at that time was Isaiah 55, especially verses 6 – 13. First, it took us, forsaking our ways and thoughts and then finding His ways and His thoughts. When that happens, it sets things in motion for a true transformation to take place.
Most everyone that reads this story may think that “God Intervened” by causing all of the events that day to fall in line so precisely that those words would come out of the radio at the moment we would hear them or was it just coincidence? It dose not matter either way to me, because the real Intervention was within us. Those words could have come out, we could have heard them, then shrugged it off as coincidence and kept driving toward a different destination.
Retha and I are so thankful to God for the opportunity of a life with Him as our guide. We know without any doubt in our minds that He wants to be involved within the practical day to day events of our lives. What Retha and I want more than all else is to enter His rest and most of all, to be a blessing to our guest and to others.
May God Richly Bless You Today;
Dana and Retha Strickland
P.S. We would like to add a little disclaimer.
Both Retha and I understand that there are times when divorce is the only option. We are just telling our story as it happened to us. We in no way are critical or judgmental toward those who have divorced.
It absolutely takes two people, fully committed to making a marriage work for it to be successful.